Monday, December 28, 2015


TLB friends......

 Many of you have been with me since my first blog was launched in June of 2013, and some have joined my journey along the way.

I am thankful for each and every one of you, your contributions, comments and friendships.

The Lavender Bouquet has recently reached a new status.....I am pleased to announce that our Facebook page has received 3,000 Likes!

What started as a creative release, has evolved into much personal growth, and pure enjoyment for me.

As "2015" comes to an end, I would like to "thank" each and every one of you for your unwavering support! You invigorate my creativity.

I look forward to "2016," and sharing our exciting months ahead as we begin the building process of our new Texas home!

Wishing you and yours a safe and blessed New Year! 
See you on Tuesday, January 5th!!



Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Greetings TLB friends,

The Florida house is decorated, the cookies are baked, the family has all arrived....and now it's time to settle in for a warm winter's night as we wait for Santa's arrival.........

Wishing you all a beautiful Christmas filled with the love and laughter of family!



Monday, December 21, 2015


It's getting closer! Are you looking for a quick last minute gift or a quick add to your holiday party menu? 

Here's a terrific, tasty and easy recipe from designer Sarah Richardson for UNFORGETTABLE SPICED NUTS. The mix consists of almonds and pecans and has a nice spicy sweet crunch. 

They are easy to prepare--

And may be packaged in air-tight containers to make a perfect holiday gift!

Sarah's recipe may be found here:

So if you need a last minute homemade gift or a quick add to you party menu, this delicious spicy nut mix will be sure to please.

May your holiday season be Merry and Bright!


Thursday, December 17, 2015


Hi TLB friends....

Our Christmas mornings are pretty laid back. What are your Christmas mornings like? Do you open gifts and then eat breakfast or do you eat breakfast first? We attend mass the evening before so Christmas morning is spent typically in PJ's, unwrapping gifts and enjoying a hearty breakfast.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Hello TLB friends.....

Since we've moved back to Texas we have been enjoying the friendly people, the culture and the food. There's an interesting theme we've been experiencing, and it is that of "generosity and kindness," making us feel very welcome!

Friday, December 11, 2015


Last weekend hubby and I did a little more exploring in Texas. One of the things on the tourist list was, Southfork Ranch, so we thought we'd make the drive to Parker to check it out.

Today the ranch is home to a conference and event center located about 25 miles north of Dallas.

Were you a fan of the TV show "Dallas?" Did you realize that show aired 356 episodes before its cancellation? It was the longest running TV series in history. 

Today people from around the world continue to tour the house and grounds at Southfork. The property is located 3700 Hogge Road, Parker, TX.

An interesting story was told to us by our tour guide, Sally. The house was built by a family by the name of Duncan and the square footage is actually 5,900 sq. ft. (Not nearly as large
as it was portrayed on the California screen.)

Mr. Duncan was approached by Lorimar Productions requesting to use the exterior for filming from 1978-1989. The studio also made a mock-up of the home and based it in California where it was used for filming when the weather in Texas made it a bit difficult. 

As you enter the front door you are greeted by a smallish foyer complete with Waterford chandelier. A bit underwhelming compared to film version.

Memorabilia in the form of photos are throughout the entire home.

"War of the Ewings" in 1998 was filmed inside the real ranch. In 2012, the new Dallas series used Southfork for filming until it's cancellation also.

Sunken  Living Room with doors to the pool area.....
(Photo above the mantel of Jock Ewing.)

The dining room was all decked out for the holidays! Beautiful draperies hung in each doorway as you enter the dining room. Several Waterford chandeliers hung above the table.

Another photo of Miss Ellie and her sons, JR and Bobby.

JR and Sue Ellen's bedroom. The bed was centered in the middle of the room and faced
the back yard above the pool area.

As we exited there was a Family Tree of sorts printed on the wall. It was interesting for hubby and I to see who we recognized through the years. Even if you were like us, not 
"die hard" fans of the show, but watched it occasionally..........let's face it, if you mention "Dallas" there's always that one person that brings up "who shot JR!" 

What are your memories from the "13" years that "Dallas" was on TV? 

Have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Hi TLB's Tuesday and I've got a treat for you today....

I've been searching for a new cookie recipe this year with a 

festive flair; and I found one!


Aren't they just the cutest little festive bites?

Friday, December 4, 2015


Hello TLB friends!

This is my favorite time of year......I love decorating for the holidays! As I pull the bins out of the "Christmas Room," (as my husband affectionately calls my storage room dedicated to all things Christmas) I treat each year as a new canvas to create something cozy and beautiful. When I open the bins it's like going shopping every year.

Vignettes are so easy to dining room china cabinet is so simple filled with holiday themed china and crystal pieces.....add a wreath to the cabinet hardware...easy and festive!

By adding glittery ornaments, and crystal decorative pieces to the dining table and the addition of boxwood wreaths to the back of the chairs, is not only easy but displays a powerful statement.

My love for shiny things that twinkle in dimly lit rooms continues as they are placed throughout our home as seen on our mantel below also.

The open staircase is of course a focal point as seen as you enter our NJ home. Simple garland greens draped with delicate pearl strands, Houndstooth bows, and of course tiny white lights that glisten like snow.....

As lovely as the NJ home staircase's a sneak peek at an example quite similar of what our TX staircase will look will be ready to decorate next year!

I place fresh Poinsettias throughout our home in various sizes to add that beautiful pop of red color. I'm such a traditional girl when it comes to Christmas decorating. There are two things that are must haves for me; a fresh cut tree and brilliant red Poinsettias.

Cluttered kitchens are not my thing. I strategically place items around, just enough to give those special holiday touches. A simple Rosemary plant cut in the shape of a Christmas tree is beautiful and useful too!

When I added the chalkboard wall in the kitchen, it made the perfect backdrop for some
simple holiday touches using a 3 tiered cookie stand filled with festive touches.

Creating vignettes on sofa tables in the family room are easy. Each year I change them up with different holiday items. A favorite Villeroy and Boch Santa plate started as my focal point. The touch of crystal is an antique candy dish.....a gift from my Mother.

Adding a festive touch to a coffee table is simple......a gold tray, church cloche', and festive greens with lights.

I hope you've enjoyed some of these ideas for cozy festive touches that you can add to your home too! Instead of placing your decor in the "same" areas throughout your home year after year, why not try something new this year! 

Have fun making your home "cozy holiday!"


Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Welcome back TLB friends! I hope your holidays have left you filled with wonderful memories of family and friends!

Today I have the simplest DIY PLAID CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT for you! 

It's no real secret how much I adore plaid at Christmas time. As I was shopping with 
hubby last week we saw some of the cutest plaid ornaments in one of the gift shops 
  in our neighborhood. As I looked at their simplicity and their WOW factor,
 I was determined to make them myself.

Materials you will need:

-Plaid fabric of your choice
-spray adhesive


I actually just eye balled how much fabric I needed based on the size of my
foam ball. 

1. Cut a square allowing yourself enough to cover the ball. You can easily 
estimate this by pleating the fabric around the ball, making sure you have 
enough at the top to tie the twine and hanger around. 

2. Cut your fabric square once you have determined your square size. Spray the foam ball with adhesive.

3. Starting at the bottom of the ball, press tightly into place. Start working around 
your sides smoothing as you go. It will be necessary to pleat as you round
your corners. Press down tightly each time.

4. As you near the top, grasp the extra fabric tightly and tie a piece of twine around 
the neck in a bow, knotting it tightly.  

5. Finally to add a twine hanger...cut a piece of twine large enough to make a 
hook shape that will fit on a tree branch. Slip it under the twine that you have 
tied a bow in, knot the twine and you now have your ornament hook.

This ornament would look beautiful using any fabric! 



Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Welcome to TLB's so nice to see you!

By now you are most likely getting ready for Thanksgiving this week. We'll be traveling back to NY to spend the holiday with family. Somehow we manage Thanksgiving, and two Christmas celebrations in 3 days. Our family affectionately has named the weekend, "Thanksmas!"

Before we shuffle off to Buffalo, I'm sharing a new DIY wreath idea for the Christmas holidays. It's an ELEGANT PEARL SATIN WREATH. Sometimes it's nice to have a variation of wreaths throughout the house. I always decorate the dining room with more shiny touches and lots of candles....a bit more elegant!

Materials you will need:

-foam wreath ring-I used 16 inch diameter (any size you prefer)
-one can of Spray Adhesive
- 3 pkgs. pearl strands (Hobby Lobby bridal section) 
-one spool of  Satin ribbon approx. 30 ft. spool (Hobby Lobby bridal section)
-glue gun


1.  Spray the foam wreath with adhesive spray. It will be a bit tacky to work with, but wrap the entire wreath with the satin ribbon. Secure the end with a touch of glue from the glue gun.

2. Starting at the top of the wreath inner circle, spread a tiny bead of glue, and press the  pearls into place as you move around the perimeter. Glue, finger press pearls securely, and so on. (I started on the inside and moved toward the outside of the foam core.)

3. Once you have the pearls in place, cut a piece of ribbon for hanging and secure it
to the back of the area on the top of the wreath where you have had all of your pearl
strands meet. This covers up the edges. 

4. Use your own discretion regarding a bow. I always like a bow on my wreaths to complete them, but it is not necessary. Secure with glue gun on top of the ribbon you have secured for hanging.

It's that easy!

Add a bit of elegance to one of your rooms for the holidays!

 Have fun!


Friday, November 20, 2015


Welcome to Foodie Friday!

Today I'm in full Thanksgiving mode sharing the recipe for this unique and tasty

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Good Morning TLB friends!

Hubby and I recently took a trip to Georgetown, the Red Rocks and Denver, Colorado. It was a weekend filled with terrific weather, beautiful scenery and delicious foodI was so excited to take this Fall trip, because I had never visited Colorado before.

Friday, November 13, 2015


Welcome to Foodie Friday friends!

It all started with an article in Country Living magazine.They were requesting submissions on their Instagram page of vintage recipe boxes. What defines vintage you ask.....something that is at least 20 years old or more. 

Well, since my recipe box was a bridal shower gift "39" years ago, I submitted my recipe box photo to Country Living Instagram. Do any of you remember this type of box? Can you tell how much I have used mine through the years? What does your recipe box look like? Is it more than 20 years old?

My trusty box has moved across the country and back with me, keeping all of my recipes safe, allowing me to now share with my family and with you!

My box is full of new and old recipes from family and friends through the years. As I started sorting through them I came across some wonderful recipes that I had completely forgotten about; like hubby's Mom's Pumpkin Cookies!

When I first started dating my husband his mom made these cookies and not only did he love them, I did too! This continued on when our girls were born. I added raisins for the girls to change it up a bit, one of my mother-in-law's suggestions. The cookies are really light and airy and are a nice pumpkin treat in the Fall.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Welcome TLB friends!

I hope that you are having a great week so far! Since I've seen you last, I've been as busy as an elf in Santa's workshop. 

Between hubby's family and mine we've got quite a group of great-nieces and nephews, so I'm always trying to think of something that will delight these sweet little kiddies at holiday time. My plan is to put this felt envelope and it's contents at their place settings---who doesn't like a little gift at Christmas?

I love incorporating a learning experience into the fun. How about the Legend of the Candy Cane? Where did that candy cane come from? Was it Santa? Was it Jesus?Hmm....well today's blog will not only delight, but will educate these little sweeties!

Friday, November 6, 2015


Welcome to Foodie Friday!

This week has passed so quickly. I'm not sure where it has gone. Hubby and I are traveling to the Florida house for a couple days. We are going to spend the Christmas holiday in Florida this year with our family. This trip we decided would be a great time to get the house decorated inside. Of course, this is quite early, even by my standards. I've learned that as the holidays approach, my calendar becomes quite full, and if I am my family says..."When Mom's happy, everyone's happy!"

The recipe that I've chosen for today's blog is LEMON-GARLIC CHICKEN WITH CREAMY SPINACH. It's one of those really easy light recipes, that tastes great, serves 4, and takes 45 minutes to prepare.

I've made is several times for hubby, and each time he gives his seal of approval.  AND the left-overs are terrific the next day too! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Welcome TLB friends to DIY Tuesday!

In today's blog I'm using one of my coveted purchases from our recent trip to Magnolia Market in Waco, TX, Chip & Joanna Gaines' store. When I spotted the tote, I immediately began thinking of the many ways in which I could use this beautiful and functional piece. 

Taking full advantage of Mother Nature I've captured the beauty of Autumn by simply filling the Mason jars full of gorgeous Autumn color that I bought in the form of bouquets from my local grocery store! How easy!!

Friday, October 30, 2015


Welcome to Foodie Friday!

When browsing for recipes to share with you on Foodie Fridays, I seem to gravitate
toward those that have a healthy side, but today I just want to prepare you, this recipe does not fit into that category. 

Many of you are likely familiar with Cannoli. It's a very popular Italian dessert. It is a fried pastry cone filled with a creamy, sweet filling. The filling is either ricotta or marscapone sweetened a bit with sugar or honey and sometimes includes chopped pistachios.

Today's recipe is Cannoli Pound Cake. How unique right? I thought how terrific this would be as a hostess gift for the upcoming holidays.

Take a peek......

The cake batter is easy to prepare, and has many of the same ingredients that are found in traditional Cannoli dessert. It bakes beautifully, and the taste is quite a nice change from other pound cakes. 

You may find the recipe here:

The mini chocolate chips and chopped pistachios are quite pleasing to the palette, if you know what I mean. 

As you prepare your gift list for the holidays, and you start to become overwhelmed, as we all do, remember this little sweet treat. (This recipe can be divided in half and used in small loaf pans too!)  Simply wrap it in a beautiful holiday cellophane, and add a Christmas ribbon or bow. There's nothing like a gift from the heart at holiday time!

Wishing you a sweet, safe and Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Welcome to DIY day at TLB!!!

First if all I want to wish my middle daughter a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY today! I hope you have a wonderful day!! xxoo

I'm jumping ahead to Christmas today, because I couldn't wait any longer. I don't know about you, but I have been inundated with holiday catalogs! I love Christmas and the holidays in general, so it is so hard to contain myself from not doing at least one project a little early.

In one of the catalogs I received, I spotted the cutest Buffalo Plaid Deer. They looked as if they were made of paper mache' covered with Buffalo Plaid. So I've improvised a bit, and made my own version.....that I call DIY-- BUFFALO PLAID RUDOLPH. Stop over to see how to make them........

Friday, October 23, 2015


Welcome to Foodie Friday friends!

Rain, rain go away! This northern girl wants a bit of Fall not floods!  

GMA has published this great US map showing us the best time of year to expect the prettiest fall foliage from coast to coast. It looks like early November for us. (see the link below for your peak time)

Ironically, I found a great pic I took in early November last year at our home in
Princeton, NJ......I wonder how it will look in Texas this year.

Maybe if we're lucky we'll get some color very soon! But until then I've been thinking about apples. Those crunchy Western NY apples that we grew up on.

Today's blog is a recipe from one of my favorite trendsetters of tasteful everything....Carolyne Roehm. I love her approach to entertaining and decorating and quite often incorporate her ideas into my parties. The recipe today is from Carolyne Roehm.

  Weatherstone Fresh Apple Bread 

This time of year beckons everything apple; applesauce, apple pies, apple breads and cookies, and how about Apple Cake?

Take a peek at how easy this is to make.....

You can bake the cake either in a bundt pan or 2 small loaf pans. The cake falls apart very easily when using a bundt pan so handle with care.

It's yummy center is full of delicious apples with a nice spicy Fall flavor.

Here is the link to the recipe:

I hope you are all enjoying a nice Fall day wherever you may live. 

Have a wonderful colorful weekend!


***Don't forget to check us out on :
Sign up to receive TLB delivered right to your inbox too!